A Rose for Emily Essay: Example and Tips
The first step in writing an essay on any book is reading this book! It’s a must! The more time you have to think about the literature work (in our case A Rose for Emily, to analyze it – the better. But your emotions and feelings should be fresh. If you have read the work couple years ago, you should reread it.
Here is our first tip, remember it. When writing literature essay or review, or analysis, read not only the book A Rose for Emily, but also information about the author, his biography. You need to understand what his life was like, what the time was like. It will facilitate in writing A Rose for Emily essay and give you better understanding of what he wanted to say by his work.
William Faulkner, the author of A Rose for Emily, has an interesting biography and the book A Rose for Emily has a connection to his real life. That is why in this case, you need to tell about this in your essay.
The name of the laureate of Nobel Prize in Literature, the outstanding American writer William Faulkner (1897 – 1962) justifiably occupies one of the first places in the history of American literature of the 20th century. The author of novels and short stories, the creator of the Yoknapatawpha cycle, which has no analogues in American prose of the past century, William Falkner made a serious contribution to the formation of the modern English-language literary consciousness. The artistic discoveries made by the writer to a considerable extent determined the nature of the development of American literature in 1950 – 90’s.
The most important part of William Faulkner’s work is stories. Continuing the traditions of American storytelling, developed in the works of Irving, Edgar Po, Hawthorne in the 19th century, Mark Twain and Crane at the turn of the century, W. Anderson in the 20th century, the writer, at the same time, develops his own novelistic narrative style. Faulkner’s novels were no less popular with the reader than his stories, and his stories were put by many critics on a par with his most famous works of the “big” form. It is not by chance that the well-known English literary critic William Alley, determining the place of Faulkner in American literature, equally appreciated his novels and his stories, stressing that the genius of the writer manifests itself in both genres, despite the complexity the style he developed.
It is noteworthy that the writer, who analyzed in detail his own creativity in numerous speeches, letters and articles, distinguished by objectivity and exactingness of assessments in relation to him, built a transparent hierarchy of the most important genres for him. In a famous interview, Faulkner said: “I myself am a failed poet. Perhaps every writer at first tries himself in poetry and, having convinced himself that he is not able to, writes a story, which in its form is in second place after poetry. And, just making sure that he cannot do it too, he takes on the novel.”
Write about the plot of A Rose for Emily
Our next tip concerns retelling the plot of the literature work in A Rose for Emily essay. Of course, you can not stop mentioning the plot of the story you are talking about, but you should not make it the central item in your essay. Retelling the plot should not take more than 30 percent of the main body of the essay. And it should be mentioned only in connection to your ideas and thoughts.
Plot of the story A Rose for Emily is simple and fascinating. When you read it, you understand why it is included in most school programs. In your essay, try to tell it through your prism of understanding the world. Be creative, do not use dry words like the encyclopedia.
Example of retelling the plot in A Rose for Emily essay
The story begins with a brief report about the funeral of Emily Grierson, a southern old maid of senior years, followed by the narrator’s recollections of Emily’s outdated and increasingly insane behavior for a long time. Emily came from a family of pre-war southern aristocrats; after the Civil War, difficult times came for the Griersons. She and her father were the last two of the clan continued to live in the past. None of them would agree to Emily’s marriage with a man below their social status. When Emily was about thirty, her father died. She refused to accept that he was dead for three days; society took such behavior for the manifestation of grief.
Accepting the death of her father, Emily started living. She became close to Homer Barron, a northerner who arrived in the city as a contractor for pavement. This connection surprised the society of Jefferson: such a marriage would have been far from the usual standards of the Grierson family, and Homer himself boasted that he was a “staunch bachelor”. The townspeople turned to Emily’s Alabama cousins; they were her closest relatives, but Emily and her father did not get along with them. The cousins responded to the letter and arrived at Jefferson, but soon gained an even worse reputation than Emily herself. At the same time, Emily bought arsenic from a pharmacy, refusing to explain why she needed it. Neighbors came to the conclusion that she was going to get poisoned. However, her relationship with Homer seemed to have a new development, and the city began to talk about the upcoming wedding. Homer temporarily left the city, presumably to give Emily the opportunity to get rid of her cousins, and returned three days after their departure. A neighbor noticed how, at sunset, he had entered the house of the Griersons; however, no one else saw him.
Despite changes in her social status, Emily continued to behave as arrogantly as before her father’s death. Her reputation was such that the city council found it impossible to write to her about the unpleasant smell emanating from her house. Instead, the men, under the cover of darkness, scattered the limestone around the house, and after a while the smell ceased. The city’s mayor, Colonel Sartoris, exempted her from taxes as an act of charity, although he had to invent a story that in this way he paid her father’s debt to the city in order not to hurt Emily’s pride. Years later, when power passed to the next generation, Emily insisted on this informal arrangement, resolutely sending back all tax statements. Emily became a recluse: she never left the house and very rarely invited someone, all purchases were made for her by a black servant. Citizens began to perceive it as a “hereditary obligation”, a common debt and care.
The funeral was a significant event in the city; everyone was curious to look inside Emily’s house, where no stranger had been around for many years. After the ceremony, at which all of Jefferson appeared, a group of citizens entered the house. The door to the bedroom upstairs was locked; they knocked her out to see what was hidden behind her for so long. Inside, in addition to the things Emily bought for the wedding, they found Homer Barron’s decayed corpse on the bed; on the next pillow was a print of the head and a lock of Emily’s gray hair.
How to analyze A Rose for Emily
A Rose for Emily essay is first of all its analysis, your interpretation of the meaning of the book. Focus your essay on your understanding of the book instead of the plot itself. Tell what emotions it brings you, what thoughts you get.
Faulkner is known for using a lot of literature means, his stories are written beautifully. His style is very different to Hemingway’s minimalist writing. Point that out in your A Rose for Emily essay. You can follow William Faulkner’s lead and write in his style, using epithets and unusual unexpected comparisons.
Example of A Rose for Emily analysis
“Gothic story of courage and patience”
A Rose for Emily is a must-read and the most popular, perhaps, story of Faulkner, included in almost all collections of the “chosen” as a classic example of the writer’s little prose. Maybe because it was this story that was the first to be published in a national journal, or maybe because the main theme of Faulkner’s entire work over and over again is resistance to change. Dark, grotesque and scary story. The story of Miss Emily Grierson, a lonely old maid living in the past; proud, closed and stubborn. But when you read to the end and learn Miss Emily’s creepy secret, you suddenly wonder what kind of image and character she is, and who is Miss Emily? And the question will inevitably arise: what does the rose mean? Faulkner himself said: “the name of the story is allegorical; we see the tragedy of a woman, an irreparable tragedy, the consequences of which cannot be changed; but I feel sorry for this woman, and as if by the title of the story, I kind of greet her, just as they salute with a hand; women in such cases are presented with a rose.” But maybe I want to believe in it, the rose is an allusion to the novel of the great-grandfather of the writer William Clark Falkner “The White Rose of Memphis”, as a tribute and memory. And the “rose” is Miss Emily, the same frail, powerless, helpless, but strong-willed woman of the South, ready to defend what she believes in by any means.